Lenten Meditations: Friday 16 February

Feb 16, 2018 by

Feb 16
am: 95, 31
pm: 35
Eze 18:1-4, 25-32 Phil 4:1-9 John 17:9-19


Friday After Ash WednesdaySt Pamphilus the Martyr & his Companions, 290 (Eastern Calendar)

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: Today on the Eastern Church calendar we remember Saint Pamphilus persecuted for the faith during the reign of Maximian, in the year 290, in Caesarea of Palestine, and was put to death by command of Firmilian, the Governor of Palestine. His fellow contestants’ names are Valens, Paul, Seleucus, Porphyrius, Julian, Theodulus, and five others from Egypt

On the Fridays of Lent, it is customary (in the Church of the East and West) to abstain from meat as a sign of our common penance. It represents our efforts to abstain from – do without – so many other patterns that get in the way of our happiness and wholeness. What is fasting? Biblically, fasting is abstaining from food, drink, sleep or sex to focus on a period of spiritual growth. Specifically, we humbly deny something of the flesh to glorify God, enhance our spirit, and go deeper in our prayer life. The Western Church follows the Celtic observance whereby Sunday is not a day of fasting or abstinence, while the Eastern observance is different, where Saturdays and Sundays are both exempt “feast” or “festival” days, and the period of Lent is the eight weeks before Easter.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: In the lesson from the Philippians, Paul speaks about some struggles that Christians encounter in a broken world. These struggles are not known to us as they include disputes, lack of gentleness, stress, and thoughts that do not reflect grace. Paul urges the church to “stand firm,” that is “to stick with it,” “to endure,” or to “never give up the Christian walk”. It’s a challenge currently to persevere in His grace. Paul wants the church then and now to persevere in our vocation of unity being gracious at all times and all places. In principle we of course all agree with those ideals. Lent is a time to undertake the daily work and effort of making it more than an ideal to achieve but a ministry that becomes enfleshed in our very being. Paul could not know the future but perhaps the dynamics of Christianity in the 1st Century and the 21st Century have more in common than not. Paul knew that Philip was a successful and blessed faith community and yet they like we all too often shied away from the calling to be disciples of Christ without compromise. Alter Christus…another Christ: that is what St. Paul is urging them and us to be. What better time to be another Christ than the season of Lent.

PRAYER OF THE DAY:  Dear Lord, I renew myself this Lent and renounce Satan, I pledge myself to labor, to the best of my ability, to witness to you and the work on behalf of Your Church. I offer all that I am and ever hope to be in service to you so that the reign of Your peace may be established throughout the whole world. Amen.

Lenten Discipline Make today a day of fasting and abstinence. Give money that you saved by eating small and simple meals to the poor or programs which are in service to and solidarity with the poor. Through the use of a mite box for ministries such as LWF or Mothers Union, use the funds saved for a greater work.

ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: “to the end that while all the world is fasting, we who are in Egypt should not become a laughing-stock as the only people who do not fast but take our pleasure in those days…” – St. Athanasius (Treatises and Tracts).






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